The Illegitimates #4

the illegitimates #4 cover

the illegitimates #4 coverI’ve been following the comic book series written by SNL’s Taran Killam, The Illegitimates since the beginning. The Illegitimates #4 was released recently and I’ve read this one as well.

I’ve been thinking for a day or two since I read this about what I think the problem with The Illegitimates series is and I think I’ve got it.

They have tried to do too much with their first foray in to a comic book series. It pains me to say it because I love Taran Killam, but I think that is the issue I am having with this series.

The Illegitimates is only going to be a 6-issue run. We are now at #4 in the series leaving just two issues left before the end and we aren’t really that much closer to a resolution, and even worse, additional story lines were introduced in this issue.

I love the idea of this series, the illegitimate children of a super-spy coming together to form a new super-spy team. It’s a great idea but it lead to the problems we are having deep in to the run of the series. There are too many characters to focus on and there just isn’t an opportunity to develop any of the characters.

I don’t know if they do the length of this comic the way they are doing as a strategy, but it is feeding in to the lack of story development issue. Each issue of The Illegitimates has only been around 20 pages. There just isn’t any way to move the story forward and do character development at the same time.

We see an example of this in The Illegitimates #4. The crew finds themselves on a mysterious oil platform that turns out to not be what it looks like.

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This is where a new story line is all of a sudden introduced. We get an accusation that one of the group is a spy for Danikor? Come on. That’s fine if you want to introduce this wrinkle to the story, but it’s hardly dealt with. On the next panel, it’s brushed under the rug and the group continues their clearing of the oil rig.

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The group is attacked by a couple of guards who are very, very quickly dealt with and it seems that there were only two guards for this huge facility. Ok fine again. We can’t have a protracted battle here because there just isn’t time. As you see in the panel, the guards are dealt with, and this super complicated system is immediately figured out. Oh it wasn’t? Fine, just download everything. We can do that because we have got to move on. One panel for the discovery of the critical intelligence that will break this case.

The story continues for another panel with the team flying, in a helicopter, away from the oil rig on their way to England?

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Check this panel out. Does anyone reading this play Kerbal Space Program? Probably not but if you do, you’ll probably be like me and look at that ferris wheel looking thing and look at those containers wondering how much science that wheel would be worth. I know that first no one is reading this, and second, anyone who might stumble on this probably has no idea what I’m talking about but hey, this is really just for me.

On the way back to their base, there is an explosion and the base is destroyed. The gang, still in the helicopter mind you, is somehow able to continue on to Scotland to a new base that we didn’t know about previously but is just added in because there is not time to really explain anything that is going on. You the reader are just expected to go along with all of it.

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There are just 2 issues left in this series. My suspicion is that there are going to be more issues, another season if you will, of The Illegitimates. I feel that with the last two issues, we are going to get quick cut jumps through the rest of the story to a final confronation with Danikor where he will have his plot foiled but he will still escape a la Blofeld from the James Bond movies.

If I can add a suggestion for the series, make each issue longer so you can develop the characters and flesh out the story more fully and go for more than a 6-issue run.

I think that Killam and his partners are on the right track with their first (well not for Killam’s partners) foray in to comic book writing, but this one is missing the mark. The good news is that they is missing the mark because I want to know more of what is going on so at least they have that going for them.

The Illegitimates is published by IDW Publishing and is available on iTunes.